Household CFOs' must take charge

Monday, January 9, 2012

Americans have found ways to take control of their household finances, even in tough economic times.

Still, a recent survey of "Household CFOs"- individuals in charge of managing family finances - found that two out of three households in the U.S. do not have an emergency savings account. Analysts say that could put them at financial risk in the event of a crisis.

Additionally, nearly one in three households has not prepared a will, purchased insurance of any kind, or made other preparations for a significant life-changing event. Yet, almost half of those surveyed have already experienced some sort of financial setback within their household in the past year.

The survey was conducted by Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS) of Greater Atlanta, a national, nonprofit credit counseling agency.

In response to survey findings and current economic conditions, the group has launched a national financial awareness campaign, "Household CFO."

It is also enhancing its CredAbilityU online education program, which offers free interactive Webinars and financial management tools. The organization provides confidential budget counseling, money management education, debt management programs, bankruptcy counseling and education, and comprehensive housing counseling to individuals nationwide.

In today's economy, many Household CFOs feel like they have too much on their plate or aren't equipped to make long-term financial plans. They often become overwhelmed with paying bills, managing accounts and overseeing spending. And now, the increased cost of groceries and gas has led many families to the verge of financial crisis.

However, there are free resources to help families take charge of their financial future:

*Household CFO campaign site, www.HouseholdCFO.org

*Consumer advocate Ilyce Glink's site, www.ThinkGlink.com

*Credit score-reporting site, www.MyFico.com

*Free credit report site, www.AnnualCreditReport.com.

Remember, these are free resources to help families deal with and overcome financial difficulties. If you're among such families, we encourage you to take advantage of this information.